This is Halloween, This is Halloween… oh wait…

Today is Halloween, Samhain (Beltane for those in the southern hemisphere), All Hallows Eve (and a large number of Saint’s feast days and Reformation Day for some Protestant sects), Hop-tu-Naa, National Unity Day, World Cities Day, World Savings Day, and for those in Girl Scouting, it is Juliette Lowe’s birthday. On this day many cultures look at those that have gone before them, some in love and remembrance and others in fear. Of course, here in the U.S. today is a day of candy mayhem for children though trick or treat may have already occurred in many communities.

This year my family lost my maternal grandmother, Marjorie Schooley nee Russell in June. In August her oldest son, Ralph David Mortimer died after an accident. Later in August, my children lost their uncle, Jeffrey Caler. Both my children and husband had cousins die this year as well.

How do we remember these people, keep their memories alive? Tell stories, write their histories, share photos with far flung family. Americans tend to move on and forget their past, it seems it is in our blood. After all we are a nation formed by people leaving their old world behind to build a new one. Is this healthy though? Many faiths have ancestor veneration as part of their path, mine does. Why do some faiths feel that honoring the dead is so important. The Old Testament lists genealogies of prophets and kings, during the Middle Ages European nobility often built family trees that tied into Joseph or Joseph of Arimathea to prove their legitimacy to rule. Today with the relatively easy access to DNA testing and sites like Ancestry and 23andme, vast numbers of people are looking into their pasts. With those sites come people with questions, “Help, I was adopted”, “My father isn’t my father, what do I do”, “My great grandparents came from Sweden I don’t know their names.” This is sad to me. Personally, I have a block with one of my maternal great grandmother’s parents. I have what is supposed to be their names but all legal documents say otherwise. She is my brick wall. It is hard to honor those who have been lost to time.

If you are reading this blog you probably have an interest in genealogy, please for the sake of your grandchildren, write down your stories, the stories of your loved ones. Take photos, load them to social media, the cloud, zip drives, protect them from old age or computer failure or storm damage (many families in Japan lost their shrines after the tsunami). Don’t forget those “black sheep” they may be an embarrassment now but they are still kin and may one day be seen in a different light. My own family hid our relationship of Wyndham Mortimer, my great great grandfather’s brother (son of Rachel who I have written about) because of his communist leanings. One day we will all be someone else’s history.



Cattle die, kindred die,
Every man is mortal:
But the good name never dies
Of one who has done well


Cattle die, kindred die,
Every man is mortal:
But I know one thing that never dies,
The glory of the great dead


Sharing Food Memories

Instead of only me posting, let’s make this post a sharing one. Tell us about one of your ancestors. I’ve been in a baking and canning mood, things that I learned from my paternal grandmother, Vivian Jaynes Frey, who died on Mother’s Day in 1995. She made a sweet pickle that was brined for 17 days in a sugar solution. I make a version of it every few years. I don’t know anyone else who makes them. I’m not sure if it is something she grew up with in southern West Virginia, if she picked it up while working in Baltimore during WWII or found it once she settled in southwestern Pennsylvania.

This is a similar recipe, but she used clove and cinnamon sticks instead of celery seed and never added coloring,…/g98…/katies-14-day-sweet-pickles.html.

Why Labor Day?

Despite what I heard yesterday on the radio, Labor Day isn’t the official end of summer (unofficial maybe) nor is a get drunk and blow things up day.  According to Wikipedia, “Labor Day in the United States is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of the country.”  What are we honoring? The men and women who fought to help put in place the perceived 40 hour work week, child labor laws, overtime pay, workplace safety laws. Things we tend to take for granted.  What we tend to forget is that this wasn’t easy, today when you’re popping open your drink with your burger on your lap remember the following:
The Haymarket Affair 
“The Haymarket Affair (also known as the Haymarket Massacre or Haymarket Riot) was the aftermath of a bombing that took place at a labor demonstration on Tuesday May 4, 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago. It began as a peaceful rally in support of workers striking for an eight-hour day and in reaction to the killing of several workers the previous day by the police. An unknown person threw a dynamite bomb at police as they acted to disperse the public meeting. The bomb blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians; scores of others were wounded.”


Triangle Shirtwaist Fire (which came after the federal declaration for Labor Day)
“On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New York City burned, killing 145 workers. It is remembered as one of the most infamous incidents in American industrial history, as the deaths were largely preventable–most of the victims died as a result of neglected safety features and locked doors within the factory building. The tragedy brought widespread attention to the dangerous sweatshop conditions of factories, and led to the development of a series of laws and regulations that better protected the safety of workers.”
Pullman Strike
“More than 14,000 heavily armed federal troops, marshals and policemen called to duty in 27 states ranging from New York to California – 34 people shot dead, dozens seriously wounded, hundreds jailed…$80 million worth of property destroyed…the country’s vital rail system badly crippled …
It was the great Pullman strike of 1894, a virtual insurrection of working people against the corporate forces who dictated their conditions of employment, subjecting them without recourse to lives of poverty or near-poverty.
It took nearly three weeks and the might of the U.S. government itself to defeat them. But when it finally came, the defeat was among the most severe ever dealt the American labor movement.
The strike nevertheless was one of the most important of the events that ultimately led to widespread unionization and the granting of fundamental rights and protections to all U.S. workers, unionized or not.”
Ludlow Massacre
“The Ludlow Massacre was an attack by the Colorado National Guard and Colorado Fuel & Iron Company camp guards on a tent colony of 1,200 striking coal miners and their families at Ludlow, Colorado, on April 20, 1914. About two dozen people, including miners’ wives and children, were killed. The chief owner of the mine, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., was widely criticized for the incident.”

The above were just a sampling, other workers deaths are listed at from 1850 to 1979.



97 Years of Women Voting

Thanks to Kindred Connection at WordPress it dawned on me that ninety-seven years ago today—18 August 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, granting women the right to vote. As my fellow blogger remembered to honor the women in her family who were able to vote on this date I will do the same. As to which of the following women voted that first November I will probably never know.

Edith May Hammel born 01 Apr 1897, died 15 Oct 1988 lived her entire life in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Emma Jane Ramsey born 10 May 1890 died 05 Jun 1971 lived her entire life in Lincoln County, West Virginia.

Anna Marie Brecht born 15 Aug 1856 in Rinboussia Germany and died 29 May 1926 in South Heights, Pennsylvania.

Margaret J Holley born 05 Nov 1853 in Hamlin, Lincoln, West Virginia, United States died 02 Jan 1922 in Ashland, Boyd, Kentucky, United States

Ariminta Belle Scites born 10 May 1866 and died 16 Feb 1948, lived her entire life in Lincoln County, West Virginia

May Thomas born 01 May 1888 and died 30 Oct 1967 she was born and died in Pennsylvania.

Rachel Jenkins, born 21 Apr 1852 in Ystradgynlais, Breconshire, Wales died 30 Nov 1920 in Lorain, Ohio

Ethel M Schooler, born 13 Sep 1891 in Lawrenceburg, Lawrence County, Tennessee and died 21 Dec 1962 in Aliquippa, Beaver County, Pennsylvania

Edna Frese born in 1892 and died in 1963, she lived her whole life in Pennsylvania.

Ada Davis born 16 Nov 1860 in Pennsylvania and died 20 Mar 1922 in Lorain, Ohio

Mary Ann Kronk, born April 1861 in Ohio and died 1946 in Pennsylvania.

Ernestine Keil, born 10 Sep 1864 in Germany and died 17 Dec 1955 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

I have other grandmother’s that may have been alive and citizens at this time but I do not currently have dates of death to confirm. Perhaps for 2020 I will have a complete list.





The following is a roll call of my known direct Colonial ancestors alive in 1776.

The following is a roll call of my known direct Colonial ancestors alive in 1776. Some of these individuals do have DAR/SAR registration numbers available. Some are not listed because I can not verify at this point in time that they were alive in 1776 nor does this list include those who were in the Colonies before this and were already deceased. Birth and death location is only provided for those who immigrated.

William Jayne

Tabitha Norton


Ebenezer Jayne, Reverend

Elizabeth Riggs

Henry Halley

Elizabeth Halley (maiden name currently unknown)

Bartholamy Ramsey

Elizabeth Wiseman

Richard Ramsey

Naomi Alexander

Margaret Alexander

Isaac Wiseman II

Elizabeth Davis

Isaac Wiseman I

Mary Neal

John Raines

Margaret Dooley

Amy Goodwin Mitchell

John Raines

Elijah Nicholas Hawkins

Peter Graves Perry

Lucy Faulconer

Abraham Russell

BIRTH 1750 • Ireland
DEATH BET. 1831–1839 • Smith, Washington, Pennsylvania, United States

Abraham Scott

Jane Finley
1761- after 1810

Samuel Scott

Rachel Tidball

James McCoy

BIRTH 1760 • Northern Ireland (Came to America with Father in 1772)
DEATH 27 MAR 1807 • Fayette, Allegheny, Pennsylvania

Rachel McCoy (maiden name unknown at this time)

Thomas Morris II

Ann Butler

Isaac Benward

Mary Lockart

David Lockart

Mary Lockart (maiden name unknown at this time)

David Lockard

John Cronk

Barbaray Broadbeck

Adam Brubeck Sr

BIRTH 17 MAY 1722 • Bern, Switzerland
DEATH 2 DECEMBER 1778 • Virginia, USA

Elizabeth Zhender
(was in US after 1743 but before 1762)

Michael David Culp

Magdalena Roth Rhodes

Magdalena Roth

Johann Phillip Kolb

BIRTH 1730 • Wurttemberger, Germany (here before 1755)
DEATH 1835 • Pennsylvania

Catherine Kolb (maiden names and birth/death dates unknown at this time)


Theodora Kalusine Komnena, Queen of Jersualem

Theodora Kalusine Komnena, Queen of Jersualem was born about 1145 to Isaac Komnenas and Eirene Synadene. When she was about twelve she was married off to Baldwin III to strengthen ties to the Byzantine Empire and to help support him against Nur al-Din, the Sultan of Syria. She was presented the city of Acre as a dowery and was to be given to her if Baldwin died without children which is what happened. His death left her a teenage widow, rich and beautiful. Such a situation is ripe for scandal and of course it occurred. Her father’s cousin, Andronikos, Lord of Beirut came to town. He was a married man but that hadn’t stopped him before carrying on an affair with Phillipa (sister to Prince Bohemed II of Antioch and sister in law to Emperor Manuel who himself was a maternal uncle to Theodora). He and Theodora ran off to Damasus under the protection of Nur al-Din. None of her family was happy with the situation, nor were her in-laws. Adultery, incest and elopement by a member of royalty were all crimes and a straight ticket to the lands of excommunication. While she was gone with her elict romance her lands in Acre reverted to her brother in law King Almeric who managed to keep the peace that Theodora’s marriage was to have created by marrying another Byzantine Princess.

Theodora and Andronikos had two children together while on the lam, Alexios and Eirene but she and the children were eventually captured and turned over to Manuel as a way to force Andronikos out of hiding. In 1180 he did and subnitted to Manuel. In 1183 Andronikos overthrew Manuel’s son and became Emperor of Constantiople but there are no records as to whether or not Theodora joined him there. However they were at least still in contact when Eirene was married to one of Manuel’s illegitimate sons and later when Theordora’s nephew Isaac needed ransomed. Unfortunately, he was not greatful and later took control of Cyprus. Andronikos did not have a happy ending, he became paranoid as he aged and the populace turned against him.


George Norton and Mary Machias

Mary Machias Norton Fowler was born between 1613 and 1615 in England. In about 1635 she married George Norton a tavern owner and carpenter with whom she had eleven children, ten of which lived past infancy. She became a member of the Salem Church on September 4, 1637. George died between June and September of 1659. She remarried, this time to Philip Fowler on February 27, 1660. She died November 4, 1694 in Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts.
George Norton was born in 1610 in England. He immigrated to Salem arriving in April of 1629 as part of the Higginston Fleet, which was the Mayflower’s 14th trip. He became a member of Salem Church on May 14, 1634 (along with William Hathorne an ancestor of Nathaniel Hawthorne and one of the judges at the Salem Witch Trials.) He held a number of offices such as: “Essex jury, 27 March 1638, 25 June 1639, 30 June 1641. Deputy of the Salem marshal (apparently for Gloucester), 2 November 1642. Essex grand jury (for Salem), 24 November 1657. Essex trial jury, 28 June 1659 (which helps pinpoint his death).Gloucester deputy to General Court, 8 September 1642, 10 May 1643. Gloucester member of committee on bounds between Ipswich and Gloucester, 3 May 1642. Commissioner to end small causes at Gloucester, 10 May 1643. On 29 May 1644 it was “ordered, (at the request of the town of Glocester,) that George Norton (as their eldest sergeant) shall exercise their military company”.” 1 He also left a sizeable estate that Mary was the executrix over.


Genealogical and Family History of the State of Connecticut: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation, Volume 2
William Richard Cutter Edward Henry Clement Samuel Hart Mary Kingsbury Talcott Frederick Bostwick Ezra S. Stearns January 1, 1911
Lewis historical Publishing Company

Adelaide of Maurienne



Adelaide of Maurienne, also known as Adelaide of Savoy was born November 18, 1092 in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, France to Humbert II of Savoy and Gisela of Burgundy. On August 3 1115, she became the second wife of King Louis VI (Louis the Fat) with whom she had eight children. During her time as queen she was extremely politically active, more so than any other medieval French queen. They both signed most of the royal charters from this time. She was also known for providing for the Church and the pair founded Ste Pierre at Montmartre, which is north of Paris. When Louis died in 1137 she did not take herself to the nunnery as was common. Instead, she remarried in 1141. Her second husband was Matthew I of Montmorency who was the widower of Henry I’s daughter Alice Fitzroy. Adelaide and Matthew had one child. She retired to the abbey she and Louis had founded in 1153 and died on November 18. 1154 and is buried there as well.


Migration Monday Rachel Jenkins


Rachel Jenkins was born April 21, 1852 (ish some some census records vary) in Ystradgynlais, Breconshire, Wales to Rachel Davies and possibly a David Jenkins. There were multiple Davids and Rachels in the village and it is hard to determine who is who (also, in Unionize by her son Wyndam Mortimer her parents are listed as William and Sarah but that doesn’t match up to some of the legal documents). David is the signature of father on her marriage license and in the baby book for her grandson George Ivor. In about 1857 David died leaving Rachel with three children to raise and a blind mother. The dates may be off because census records indicate a fourth child was born in 1863 but we all know how that works. No matter what happened to David, Rachel Davies Jenkins was in a pinch with more mouths to feed that she could afford through her embroidery. To help solve this problem young Rachel Jenkins was sent off to work at a nearby farm as farm labor. She helped with kitchen work, tending the children and such but she also did some fieldwork. In her early teens her flinging bails of hay caught the eye of a young English man, Thomas George Mortimer, who drove cattle from Wales to the markets in London. He too came from a poor home and had started working at 10 to help support his siblings. He was interested in the young girl but he only spoke English and she only spoke Welsh but apparently they made it work. When arriving home from that particular drive Thomas learned his mother had died and deciding he had no more reason to walk back and forth with cows when he could work in Wales in the mines that’s what he did. He walked back to be near Rachel and worked in the mines. They married on February 9, 1873 in the District of Neath, County of Glamorgan Brecon in Wales. They immigrated to America and came to Pennsylvania on September 19, 1881. Their first three were born in Wales, including their son Benjamin who died at or near birth. The next six were all born in Pennsylvania, including two others who died in infancy Gomer and John. Thomas worked in the mines in Pennsylvania and found them just as difficult as the ones they left in Wales but this time with no supports and they debated on moving home. They stayed though and much of their earlier years is told in Wyndham’s introduction in his book. Including tales of Thomas not allowing his children to tease a black man whom he had invited to dinner. They later moved to Lorain, Ohio where Thomas and his sons worked in the mills which were vastly safer than the mines. Rachel died November 30, 1920 in Lorain, Ohio, never having learned to read or write.


Welsh and US census records

Marriage Licensce of Thomas and Rachel Mortimer

Babybook of George Ivor Mortimer

Unionize by Wyndham Mortimer (Though his book does not always match records)

Family history compiles by their great granddaughter Lila and gifted to me.

Ermentrude of Orléans



Ermentrude of Orléans (also known as Hirmentrude and Irmintrud) was born September 27, 823 in France. She was the daughter of Odo, Count of Orléans and Engeltrude of Fezensac. On December 13, 842 she married Charles the Bald and proceeded to have about 10 kids (some records say only 9). The marriage made her Empress of the Holy Roman Empire and Queen of West Francia (yeah we didn’t leave the Frankish queens completely yet). Other than popping out heirs her hobbies were embroidery, which she was renowned for and abbeys. Charles presented her with the Abbey of Chelles and at least four of her children entered the church though Lothar didn’t remain there. In 866 her brother William was charged with treason and was executed by her husband. She didn’t appreciate that much at left him to join a nunnery. She died October 6, 869 and is buried at Basilique Saint-Denis, Paris, France.